PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Wheaton College used a stingy defense and hit some timely shots down the stretch Sunday afternoon to defeat Plymouth State University, 69-60, in the championship game of the Days Inn of Campton Men's Basketball Tip-Off Tournament at Foley Gymnasium.
Sophomore guard Anthony Coppola (Watertown, Mass.) poured in a game-high 24 points, including nine in the final five minutes, and earned Tournament Most Valuable Player honors. Wheaton improves to 2-0 on the young season, while PSU drops to 1-1.
Wheaton shot 19 of 23 from the free throw line while the Panthers managed to get to the stripe 11 times and hitting only seven.
Panther senior Ben Huntington (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton) was named to the All-Tournament Team for the hosts. He followed up his 23-point performance in PSU's win over Bard College on Saturday evening with another 23-point effort against Wheaton, including three 3-pointers.
Huntington opened the game by scoring his team's first seven points as the home squad jumped out to an 18-10 advantage midway through the first session. The Lyons were able to slowly chip away at the PSU lead and went into the intermission down only a point, 28-27.
A three-pointer by Jaxon Leo (Leesburg, Va.) to start the second frame gave the visitors a lead they would not relinquish. Wheaton hit six three-pointers and shot 10 of 11 from the charity stripe in final session to salt the game away.
Junior Jason O'Keefe (Everett, Mass.), who finished with 15 points, brought the Panthers to within two (45-43) midway through the second half, but that was as close as they would come. PSU only shot 37-percent from the floor for the game. Sophomore Tom Dowd (Portsmouth, N.H.) added eight points and a game-high 13 rebounds for the Panthers.
Joining Coppola and Huntington on the All-Tournament Team were Ryan Sasso (Peabody, Mass.) of Wheaton, Justin White (New York, N.Y.) of Bard and Robert Urie Ortley Beach, N.J.) of Centenary.
PSU returns to action on Tuesday when it travels to Salem State College for an 8:00 p.m. tip-off.
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